Many homes have a den space that is smaller than the living room or family room and unfortunately, they are often be treated as an afterthought in the design and decor of the home. However, even a small den can be so much more than a dumping ground for clutter or a dark unwelcoming space. Here are some functional ideas for your den.
A Home Office or Library
A den that is tucked away out of the main living areas of the house is an ideal spot for a den that works as a calm, efficient home office and library space. Your first order of business is to clear out any clutter and remove items from the room that do not belong there. Then organize and arrange your desk, reading chair, bookshelves and storage units. Sticking to an unobtrusive neutral color for the walls, like taupe or gray, will lend a calming effect that will help with concentration. Add a touch of energizing color with accents in bolder tones of yellow, green, orange or red. Bring in personal touches with favorite family photos, wall art, plants and collectibles. Be sure to provide adequate lighting for all you wish to do in the room: An overhead fixture on a dimmer switch will let you control ambient lighting that suits your needs and mood and task lighting on the desk or beside a reading chair or essential for comfort.
An Entertaining Space
If you love to entertain, turn your den into a comfortable stylish lounge that is ready to greet visitors whenever you are. Choose inviting contemporary colors, appealing wall art and comfortable furniture that can seat as many people as you typically entertain. Choose a decorative style that expresses your personality and interests; for instance, a recent trip to Morocco or your favorite movie can inspire your design choices.
Create a focal point for the room: A fireplace is an obvious choice, or build an interesting arrangement around a collection of artwork, a cherished antique cabinet or wall hanging. Cluster your furniture to encourage conversation and include enough side tables and coffee tables so that everyone has a place to set drinks or plates. A music system will add to the ambiance and design lighting so that it is even and pleasant throughout the den. You may wish to combine overhead lighting with lamps and wall sconces to create your chosen atmosphere.
An Entertainment Space
If your family loves to watch movies and TV or to play games – both electronic and the old-fashioned kind – a game den could by your nirvana. Bring in a digital wide-screen TV, DVD and CD players, game consoles and storage or display units to hold all your favorite gear. Allow for ample comfortable seating and have a low table in the room for board games. The key is to meet the needs of everyone who uses the space: Some families may want a reading or crafting nook in the room and others may be all about electronic gaming. Choose fun colors that appeal to everyone in the family and reflect your interests and passions – then just kick back and enjoy!